Maintain following together with beat author Scott Richey from State Farm Heart, as Illinois and Northwestern meet up for a Huge Ten rematch:
Coleman Hawkins had a entrance row seat to Ayo Dosunmu’s late sport takeover towards Nebraska. Let’s simply say the Illinois freshman ahead was suitably impressed.
“He’s a professional,” Hawkins mentioned. “He simply fully took over the sport. It was loopy. I used to be sitting there watching its and was like, ‘Jeesh.’ Actually only a ball display and attacking the rim, and it obtained us within the sport. It was loopy to see him try this. That’s what professionals do, and that’s what he did.”
Coleman Hawkins made his third three-pointer of the season in Illinois’ win at Nebraska. The freshman ahead would not shoot many — simply 9 to date — however changing into extra constant has been his objective.
“Taking pictures 500 pictures a day to make that one if I get within the sport,” Hawkins mentioned. “I’ve positively been engaged on changing into a extra constant shooter and extra dependable. I’ve obtained to knock it down within the nook.”
Tonight we’re honoring #Illini legend, Mannie Jackson in partnership with Development of Blacks in Sports activities in its marketing campaign to rejoice historic figures who’ve been a voice for racial fairness and alter in athletics.Congratulations Mannie and thanks for all you may have completed! pic.twitter.com/VLeApBooG4
— Illinois Basketball (@IlliniMBB) February 17, 2021
Illinois coach Brad Underwood addressed his workforce’s win at Nebraska throughout his Monday Zoom name. It was a studying expertise in Lincoln, Neb.
“Coming off the Nebraska sport, loads to be taught from there,” Underwood mentioned. “Actually happy with our guys. I’ve used this as a fantastic educating device. You at all times have a sport or two in postseason play if you simply need to grit it out. It is probably not fairly. It is probably not the precise power or approach you wish to play — Nebraska did have loads to do with that — however we did discover a approach. Ayo (Dosunmu) was particular down the stretch. I assumed our protection within the second half was very, excellent.”
That led Underwood into a fast preview of tonight’s sport towards Northwestern.
“Now it’s on to the subsequent,” the Illinois coach continued. “We simply attempt to hold chopping wooden and get higher right now and face a Northwestern workforce that, clearly, whooped us within the first half. We are able to’t make an excessive amount of of the second half. That was a singular expertise. They’ve made some adjustments transferring (Chase) Audige to the purpose and enjoying a lot greater truly. They’re enjoying much more by Ryan Younger together with his insertion within the lineup and (Pete) Nance on the 4. We’ll see a number of defenses, I might think about, like we did within the first half with man and zone.”
Brad Underwood is not relying on his workforce placing collectively a second half prefer it did final month in Evanston. Illinois torched Northwestern within the remaining 20 minutes.
There was nothing the Wildcats may do to decelerate the Illini offense, which steamrolled them for 53 factors. Northwestern did even much less offensively, scoring simply 13 factors.
Underwood might be simply as hopeful there is not a repeat of the primary half both in tonight’s rematch. The Illinois coach watched his workforce fall behind by 15 factors within the first 20 minutes. Granted, Northwestern wasn’t all that far faraway from being ranked within the Related Press High 25 when that early January sport occurred. A repeat tonight at State Farm Heart will likely be much less accepted given the Wildcats have misplaced 11 straight convention video games.
— Illinois Basketball (@IlliniMBB) February 16, 2021
Illinois ought to — emphasis on ought to — be ready to deal with Northwestern’s greatest shot. The Illini obtained simply that final Friday at Nebraska. Did not deal with it very effectively both and would have suffered an upset loss in Lincoln, Neb., save for Ayo Dosunmu going full takeover mode.
It wasn’t a fairly win towards the Cornhuskers, but it surely was a win. A win (coupled with a Villanova loss) that pushed Illinois again into the highest 5 groups within the nation within the this week’s AP ballot.
It is not a “should win” sport tonight for Illinois. Nothing horrible will occur if Northwestern pulls the upset. The Illini are secure in the case of the NCAA match. Getting there may be what issues.
After all, a Huge Ten title may effectively be misplaced. Possibly it is a “should win” sport in any case.